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If there was a collection of attractive tattooed alternative models/strippers/cam girls who had an arty bent, Warren Ellis was somewhere around. This was not a secret. A decade ago if you paid attention to what was going on at parties where creative types mixed with nude models, you would see their photos snapped with him and the joyous references they made about him online. Warren was a superstar comic book author and the arty types who showed their breasts on the Internet were happy to meet him. He made them feel special. Warren was held in such high regard by... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
S3 Intelligent Tiering, Storage Class Analysis and Lifecycle Management. When do you use them? The difference between Intelligent Tiering and Storage Class Analysis with Lifecycle Management is that with Intelligent Tiering you expect that infrequently accessed data may need to be promoted back to S3 Standard from S3 Infrequent Access.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2020 at Storagezilla's Swap File
Doing your own software and your own silicon is back in computing style again. Apple have been moving towards releasing ARM powered Macs running on their in house designed processors for a while now. Off your desktop and into the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2020 at Mark Twomey
Some people are just hitmakers. When it comes to microprocessors, Jim Keller, is a hitmaker. Having worked on the AMD Athlon he drove a sword into Itanium with the K8 x86-64 bit architecture before leaving AMD for new opportunities. There... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2020 at Mark Twomey
Quibi. Think of it like this, Meg Whitman launched a video streaming company aimed at young commuters at a time when no one at all is commuting. I'll watch their stuff anyway. Quibi’s video quality is good for the mobile device you’re watching it on but their big technical innovation is in instantly reframing the shot depending on if you are viewing it in portrait or landscape. This is a mobile only app and it’s a nice effect to see when you rotate the phone but you’re going to watch it in landscape because you’re probably not a savage. Chapters... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
Frustrated by movie distributors writer/director Alex Garland moved to TV with his eight part tech drama mini-series Devs. Watching this many viewers will be frustrated too. Not everyone but it is a long haul. You might like it. Let’s go negative before we finish positive. This is a four episode series stretched thinly to twice the length. Movie running times force conciseness in scripts. Or they should. Garland, stripped of a cinematic time limit indulges himself at the viewers expense. There is no line of dialogue so clunky that it gets cut, if anything bad dialogue was exhumed from whatever... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
We are living through the golden age of streaming content. I know it might not feel like that most of the time. I was lamenting there was nothing to watch as I scrolled through Netflix, but that isn't true. There's too much on offer and that amount of choice causes paralysis. What if you started into something and it sucked? You could have been watching something better. Right now there is always something better. Never has this amount of premium video content been available on demand at these prices. The major video streaming services are ploughing billions into Hollywood and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
We’re due a new edition of Dungeons of Dragons, D&D 6E. The 3.5 edition was available for five years while the (unfairly) maligned 4th edition was available for six. We’re now closing in on six years since the release of the current 5th edition of the game. I can hear the clock ticking when I think about it. 5E is good but has some things that are clunky and other things that are just..sloppy. Spell levels for example are sloppy. If you’re a 10th level wizard you don’t have access to 10th level spells. Instead you get five cantrips, four... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
The perfect Coronoavirus lock in movie is Frank Darabont’s The Mist. The ending hits hard. I watched it alone in an empty cinema and thought about it for days afterwards. You partner/spouse will hate you for making them watch it because they'll think about it for days afterwards and they can't go walk it off. It's a win-win scenario. Though maybe just for me. Thomas Jane is one of the best things in The Expanse and he’s great in this as society in a supermarket collapses around him. It's like watching a play. Jane’s character is rational and smart, the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
Westworld uses as many tricks as it can to try and keep ahead of the audience. Unreliable narrators; out of order timelines; bait and switches; faked memories; all of it. Season three brings a new trick, simulations. I’m wondering how much of the “real world beyond the parks” we’re getting in this season? It is possible Dolores has already won and we’re seeing some of the journey to that in retrospect? I’m guessing we’re also watching Rehoboam running overlapping simulations and noting divergences between them. There are minor continuity errors scattered throughout the show that have to be part of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
There is an interesting book in the unfortunately titled Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope but it is not the one that I read. In the interesting book the focus is on the new things that we learn outside of the show. Such as the engineered destruction of the Romulan sun and the years long collapse of the Romulan Star Empire. The book I read covers none of this and just re-purposes current refugee disasters with Picard captaining a stand-in for an NGO vessel. You've read this story on newspaper front pages. The Federation, representing the EU, fails to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
Were I to consider my coronavirus lockdown experience to date I would compare it to Funny Farm starring Chevy Chase and Madolyn Smith. I don’t have a spouse that resents being cooped up together in a less than ideal situation. My neighbours are not movie stereotype oddballs. But there is a tension amongst couples I know and the people around them which permeates that movie. I detect it in the air now. The world has changed just enough to be uncomfortable for some. Tragic for others, but just uncomfortable for some. Funny Farm is about being uncomfortable. Chase and Smith... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
Of the two “rise of the killer robots” television shows I’m watching now, Westworld and Star Trek Picard, Star Trek Picard is the dumbest. Westworld has its own problems, it’s written as a TV show for smart viewers but that doesn’t make it a smartly written TV show. Editing tricks and obscuring key facts just mean the audience spends a little more time trying to plug-in the missing information themselves. Picard on the other hand has no information to give you, it’s a dumb show written by dumb people. Star Trek wasn’t always dumb, but it descended into idiocy after... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
While there are many reasons someone might open up an S3 bucket to the world there is no reason to forget that it is open and then read about it on the web later. AWS Trusted Advisor, AWS Config with custom rules and S3 pre-signed URLs are more than capable... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2020 at Storagezilla's Swap File
Mucking around with Amazon FSx for Windows File Server this morning I deployed a multi-availability zone Windows file server, a managed Active Directory and a bunch of Windows clients in less than an hour. The FSx network attached storage was enabled for dedupe, automatic backup and had synchronous replication for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2020 at Storagezilla's Swap File
There is a joy in doing nothing and since I suspended my professional obligations over the Christmas holiday period life has been joyful. I played some games, wrote some games, and ran some games. I read trash literature and spent too much time on trivial things. It was great. One of the things I read was Star Wars: Darth Plagueis. Licensed novels read like polished fan-fiction but for a Star Wars book it sets up the planned demolition of the Republic well and had some interesting ideas about the force. While the dark side is the focus the light side... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
There’s an interesting quirk in negotiations. When distrust is high amongst negotiating parties a positive outcome from a negotiation results in a better, longer lasting deal on both sides. People do the research, forensically dig into the motivations of the counter party, then dot the i's and cross the t’s before they agree to anything. Deals get sloppy when you take people on good faith. Boris Johnson is a liar in his personal and professional life so nothing he promises should be taken on faith. This week he has proven what he says will not be a reflection of how... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
For the first time in about 6 billion years I bought the local paper. My news spending tends to run on the high side, with subscriptions to the Financial Times and the Times of London taking more than their pound of flesh. The Wall Street Journal and the Nikkei Asian Review were subscriptions as well but I phased them out last year. What with the Times of London shuttering their Dublin office and laying off their Irish reporters I decided to lay their publisher off and take my subscription money elsewhere. So today I popped to the shops and bought... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
With Game of Thrones no longer on the air Netflix missed an opportunity to hype Stranger Things 3 for months by delivering weekly episodes instead of dropping it all together for binge watching. I know that’s not how some people would prefer to watch it but there’s a lot to be said for appointment television. Not least the opportunity to discuss the episodes with other viewers and speculate as to what will happen next. Season 3 was an improvement over a rather lifeless season 2 but suffered from pacing problems resulting from it being written as an 8-hour movie and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
There are more than a few sour grapes in the Wall Street Journal article covering Jony Ive. That said, when I saw him speak recently, he was clearly nostalgic for the days he worked with Steve Jobs. I can report there was no sign of any $15,000 gold Apple watch. Jony wearing an orange banded sports model instead. Kanye West only needs so many wrist watches so even Jony must know the audience for such a luxury item is limited. Ridiculously priced trinkets aside, you do have to wonder what type of people are running Apple right now? Tim Cook... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
The technology business has much in common with the fashion industry. Both follow fads and have a gaggle of posers who flitter from seasonal event to seasonal event. They're hype driven businesses and just like failed attempts at creating fashion... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at Mark Twomey
It’s possible that I drive the oldest car in the world. Not really, but my car is a 17 year old Japanese import Corolla that has been well maintained. Maintained in the places I could reach at least, but in the places I couldn’t time has taken its toll. A few months ago a mechanic opened up the brake system for the first time since it left Japan and rust poured out. I paid to have all that dealt with but after much yelling from family members I’ve been on the hunt for a new car. We’re now entering month... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
It isn't the ending some fans wanted but it is an ending. Wrapping up a series is difficult business even when you know where you are going. Overall, the execution here was solid and the cinematography beautiful. Still lacking the author's sparkling dialogue the drama was high and the actors capable. Daenerys was suitably terrifying at the apex of her power and while her fans are upset that she was no longer the great liberator what she was is what she has always been. A Dothraki warlord. This was always the end state of her journey and had her husband... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
A number of years ago I found myself in an elevator with a former titan of the technology industry. This man once ran a incredibly innovative company that pioneered new technologies but it too was disrupted out of existence. He was a headline maker in the technology press, always great for a quote and enjoyed the rough-and-tumble of competing against more powerful rivals in a bareknuckle way. I remember thinking that he was rich when I was just learning how to count and he was probably enjoying his semi retirement. His phone beeped, he pulled it out of his pocket... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
The lesson of Game of Thrones has always been that good people can and do fail. Ned Stark failed, Rob Stark failed, Margaery Tyrell failed, Tommen Baratheon failed, and the list goes on. Evil is not vanquished in this story the way it is not vanquished in life. Depressing, but accurate. Handed the unconditional surrender of King’s Landing Daenerys failed and committed a succession of atrocities as she reduced its unarmed population to ashes. The show started in the opening scenes with her crazy hair and the deep circles around her eyes, it ended in her super-villain black leather outfit... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot